EXHIBITION OF SCULPTURE DRAWINGS AND LITHOGRAPHS BY ARISTIDE MAILLOL AND OTHER FRENCH ARTISTS MARCH THE THIRTEENTH THROUGH MARCH THE TWENTY - SEVENTH 1927 WORCESTER ART MUSEUM WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS HEAD OF A WOMAN BY ARISTIDE MAILLOL CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION MAILLOL What shall be the artist's goal? The question seems to have puzzled our own time more than it did the past. In olden times art served great concerns of practical life — religion, most often; it developed its own ulterior habits and convictions through generation after generation of apprentices serving in the botegas of the masters; what theories it evolved about its own essence, it seems to have kept largely to itself. Outsiders said art was trying to reflect nature, to idealize nature, to show, as it were, what nature ought to be — nature of course, meaning chiefly man. It was inconceivable that art could concern itself with anything less obvious than man or more interesting than how he looked. But simple as the matter may be, it is not as simple as that. Art seems indeed to be concerned with man, but rather with the way he feels than the way he looks. It would seem to be clear enough that ministering to some inner need — some essential requirement of balance, repose, perfection of internal adjustment, is more important than offering information as to man's and nature's exterior aspect, which is always more or less before our eyes anyway, whether we have art or not. Consciously or instinctively, this seems to be the way the old sculptors felt about it. This seems to be the sort of thing they reached or groped for, as the case might be. And CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION as all practical men know, the one thing they could be sure of was the stuff they worked with — their material and its limitations and possibilities. If their wood or stone or marble possessed any secrets, there was a fair chance that those secrets might yield to intelligent understanding. And if length and breadth and thickness, which were also aspects of their material, had any potency of their own, then it was the sculptor's business to know whatever might be known about these. For their material then, they developed their tools; insofar as their material might become the instrument of a conscious purpose, insofar as it might assume significant as well as expressive form, they developed an attitude toward that material. Was it accident or sense that dictated in prehistoric times the carving of a moving object like a running deer, in an organic material, like bone? Was it good taste or simple directness of mind that made the Negroid sculptors so respectful of the wood they shaped into the little finial images of their dieties — and shaped with such surprising eloquence and restraint? Certain it is that the early sculptors felt the more mon- umental of their works as masonry and architecture — the Egyptians with their seated scribes, their sphinxes, their colossal Memnons; the Assyrians with their lions, their warrior- and hunter-kings; the Greeks with their gods, their lapiths and centaurs; the men of the Middle Ages with their sainted bishops about the cathedral doors. Cer- tain it is that it remained for the Hellenists and Romans and the men of the maturing Renaissance to carve (as CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION Michelangelo did in his unfinished Slaves) crested waves in marble, and later still, for men like Rodin to give us (as in his Apollo) surging figures, emerging from luminous voids and vaporous shadows, while his little Italian contem- poraries formed ladies and dead Christs in flowing marble veils. Of the four elements it was the later sculptors who mixed air and water with their stuff. The earlier men confined themselves to earth and fire. And so old sculpture seems to have found both its defini- tion and its release within the material and the craft — and that old work is of a vernal character. Later come the autumnal fruits of the art, and the artist seems to be seeking an escape out of his materials into illusion. We cannot quarrel with the ambition or the quest of these later men, excepting when they relinquish the more vital thing in the pursuit of it. Only the very giants of the art however, succeed in holding onto both. The others are like Antaeus — their strength leaves them unless they stand upon the ground. It can hardly be doubted that Maillol is of the giant class. His sculpture differs from that of his master Rodin in that it impinges upon architecture rather than upon painting. His very thoughts come to him in three dimensions. He makes drawings, but his drawings seem to be carved as if through some resisting material — he seems to drive his pencil rather than pull it across the paper. Even the most delicate of them suggests colossal force. His statues are all solid form. Walk around them and they unfold their CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION contours like the horizons of a rolling landscape. Move among them in the dark and run your hand over them. Their forms bulk toward you like clouds driven before the wind, but with the solidity and logic of the mountains. He holds to his craft. Of wilful distortion there is none. But when the issue lies between realism and the reality of solid stuff, he never hesitates to sacrifice the former and exalt the latter. This gives his work its strange character of the inevitable. To appreciate the sculpture of Maillol it is necessary to remember that art is a reconciliation between two sets of conditions: one, the theme that nature suggests; the other, the material and its use, which nature dictates. Nature plays on both sides of the game. The very essence of man's participation is in making the recon- ciliation just. What Harunobu does with line, what Gior- gione does with colour, what Beethoven does with sound — Maillol does with three-dimensional form. And with it at times he attains a grandeur that makes him the peer of any of them. g. w. E. CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION SCULPTURE ARISTIDE MAILLOL i torso of young woman. Bronze 2 Desir. Plaster 3 FRAGMENT FROM THE MONUMENT, Hommage CL Cezanne. Plaster 4 spring. Plaster 5 summer. Plaster 6 torso (unfinished). Plaster 7 draped figure. Plaster 8 nude. Plaster 9 woman crouching. Bronze io woman kneeling. Bronze 11 woman standing. Bronze 12 woman seated. Bronze 13 reclining figure. Bronze 14 RECLINING FIGURE, FRAGMENT. 'Terra Cotta CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION SCULPTURE ARISTIDE MAILLOL (continued) 15 torso of woman, fragment. 'Terra Cotta 1 6 WOMAN ARRANGING HAIR. Bronze 17 nude seated. Bronze 1 8 NUDE SEATED. BrOUZe 19 NUDE STANDING. Bronze 20 dolphin. Bronze 21 HEAD OF A WOMAN. BrOUZe 22 HEAD OF A WOMAN. BrOUZe 23 victory. Bronze 24 dying soldier. Bronze 25 meditation. Bronze DRAWINGS AND LITHOGRAPHS A group of drawings and lithographs by Andre Derain, Marie Laurencin, Henri Matisse, Aristide Maillol, and Pablo Picasso are on exhibition in the Print Room.